Pierre-Edouard Bellemare, Michael Raffl, Matt Read, Taylor Leier or maybe an offer for unrestricted free agent Jordan Weal?
Or perhaps 27-year-old defenseman Michael Del Zotto, who will not be re-signed by the Flyers.
Those are the logical Flyers choices for the Vegas Golden Knights, whose expansion draft list will be publicly unveiled Wednesday night as part of the NHL Awards gala in Vegas.
And while the Golden Knights will select Pittsburgh's Marc-Andre Fleury as their starting goalie, they still need to draft two more, per the rules of the draft.
Vegas general manager George McPhee is obviously familiar with Michal Neuvirth, whom the Flyers left unprotected. McPhee was Washington's general manager when the Capitals selected Neuvirth in the second round (34th overall) of the 2006 NHL draft. McPhee, however, also knows how injury-prone Neuvirth is and admits that has kept Neuvirth from becoming an elite goalie in the league.
Given the other goalies available who don’t have a history of injuries, it doesn’t make sense for Vegas to select Neuvirth.
If any of the Flyers coveted, young defensive prospects were draft eligible, you can bet the Golden Knights would be taking one of them. Fortunately for the Flyers, that’s not the case under the expansion draft rules.
Del Zotto is interesting because of his age, his experience – eight seasons in the league – and, despite his defensive deficiencies, is a puck-moving defenseman who can assist on the power play.
Bellemare was a Flyers assistant captain last season and in terms of line play, like Raffl, can move up and down the lineup.
Vegas must select one player from the other 30 NHL rosters.
“We’re in a reasonable position,” Flyers general manager Ron Hextall said last week. “We’re gonna lose a good player, make no mistake. Whoever we lose, we’re gonna lose a good player.”
McPhee told reporters on Tuesday, he had at least six deals already in place with teams. He also said some picks won’t stick around very long.
“We knew that from the start that we were going to claim 30 players,” McPhee said. “But, your roster can only be 23. ... We understand and I don't know that the terminology is the right terminology, but people call it 'throwaway picks.'
“There are some teams where there isn't a whole lot to do and you're going to make a throwaway pick rather than taking on a contract that you don't like. So, there will be some of those claims, people that won't be qualified, and that sort of thing.”